A Spider Inspired Conversation

Illustration by: Rachel Diaz-Bastin

Illustration by: Rachel Diaz-Bastin

I looked down, and before thinking about the words leaving my mouth I blurted, "There's a spider behind you."

The sixtyish looking man, standing in front of the feminine hygiene products started walking towards it.

I suddenly realised I should have kept my mouth shut.

"Don't squash it!" I blurted.

"Don't worry I won't, I'm herding it to safety."

I kneeled down to keep a protective eye on the spider as his shoes gently escorted it to safety between the wall and the boxes of super slim panty liners. 

I looked up when from above a woman; evidently his wife, said cheerily, "I always save snakes and spiders."

"Me too." I replied.

And before I knew it, that became the moment of connection two strangers needed to ignite a brief but intimate conversation. 

I'd been looking up at her from my position, kneeling on the floor. Once I stood up I noticed she was quite short, round in a soft grandmotherly way; with shortish white hair and a friendly face.

In acknowledgement of our location, and with a nod to her husband she said, "He's always been happy to do the shopping for me!"

"You've got him well trained." I replied.

She laughed and told me they'd been married 49 years. That they'd met when she was 16 and he was 21. He'd told her she made him warm and tingly all over when they first met and he'd never felt anything like it.

They were married when she was 19, and despite three forms of contraception, within five months of marriage she was pregnant with their first child. They then had three children under three.

I listened and muttered numerous wows.

She went on to tell me they had lived out west. She'd homeschooled the kids and admitted she and the kids pretty much grew up together.

Again I said 'wow', and commented that she was in the minority of marriages that last, let alone for that long. I asked if she'd felt the same way about her husband when they first met.

She admitted that love had grown for her, but said with a smile that it was wonderful and every day was getting better.

I told her how inspiring it had been talking to her. She seemed genuinely surprised and appreciative.

We wished each other a good day and then went about our shopping... She after her husband down one aisle and me on a quest for walnuts.

It's highly likely we will never see each other again. But the brief exchange gave me hope, inspiration and reminded me of the connection we all have to each other, so easily forgotten but quickly accessed.

Perhaps she took away a lasting sense of meaning and significance.

And her husband saved that spider from sure death.

All in all, three small miracles in two minutes on a rainy Sunday afternoon in the middle of a supermarket.

Look out for these special moments. They happen in the blink of an eye, moment to moment. 

>>> Leonie Orton (who sometimes likes to talk about herself in the third person) is a writer, editor and marketing communications consultant. She'll create communication mediums in the shape of words, graphics and webs for your business, connecting you with the people who need you. (And due to a touch of adult ADHD she also teaches yoga, arranges flowers, runs a monthly Harvest Swap, and her raison d'être... raises two beautiful boys. Get in touch by emailfacebook or twitter. And if you're not already signed up for new writings and special offers, get hooked up here.  


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